High school senior Alisa Liu has come a long way in her three years playing badminton for Naperville Central High School. Last season Liu qualified for the state competition in singles and finished in the top 16, a feat she hopes to improve significantly this season.
Head coach Tamara Burke said that Liu “has worked hard in the offseason and is showing a lot of potential for this season. [She] has the potential to perform very well this year in the state competition.”
Name: Alisa Liu
Age/year in school: 17/Senior
Hometown: Naperville, Ill.
Position: 1st Singles, 3rd Doubles
How long have you played badminton? 3 years
What do you love most about badminton?
The sense of control that I feel I have in a game – whether or not I let the bird hit the ground, the energy level I bring, the pacing of the game, etc.
What are your goals for this season? How will you achieve them?
To place in the top six in the state tournament for singles. I plan to do this by improving my game strategy with every game I play and my individual shots with each drill in practice.
What are you looking forward to most this season?
I’m looking forward to the state tournament [and] the games, as well as the great time I get to spend with my teammates and coaches.
Do you have any rituals or superstitions when you play?
Before my opponent serves, I will usually hold my hand up as a way of pausing the game so that I can collect my thoughts and willpower to play that point as well as I can.
Who has inspired you most in your athletic endeavors?
My former offseason coach, Chris Ngu. He has always pushed me to play the best that I possibly could and is the primary reason as to why I was able to improve so much in only three years. Chris invested many hours in training me and I want to make him proud, showing him that he did not coach me in vain.
If you didn’t play badminton, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be wasting much of my time by watching too much TV, eating too much, or spending too much time online. Though of course, I would also have more time to organize various excursions with my church youth group, get a job, and hang out with my family! Never, though, have I regretted the time commitment that badminton takes up in my schedule.
Who is your favorite athlete and why?
Gabby Douglas. She sacrificed so much and trained so hard to be able to get to the Olympics and she did not let her training go to waste once she got there.
What hobbies or activities do you enjoy outside badminton?
I love going snowboarding during the winter and going to the beach in the summer. Biking is also one of my favorite things to do when the weather is warmer.
Favorite quote or words to live by:
With God, all things are possible.
Profile edited by Lauren Comitor. Local coaches who would like to see an athlete featured in TribLocal should email email@example.com.